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– and Turn Your Kids Into Road Scholars!
Enter your email address in the blue box at the top, right corner of this page – and you’ll receive a free subscription to the monthly Carschooling Ezine.
On or About the 25th of Each Month – You’ll receive the “Carschooling Calendar” for the next month so you can learn history on the go!
This “Carschooling Calendar” will help you note historic and important events and people that impact our lives on each day of the month. Just print it out and keep it in your glove compartment to jumpstart history on the road!
The “Carschooling Calendar” is a fantastic conversation starter and, with a little advance planning, you can bring CDs, books, DVDs, and activities along in the car to further learning about any event and boost your student’s knowledge of
You’ll receive recommendations for a resources to use to boost your kids’ knowledge of the world in an entertaining way.
Instead of lamenting lost time spent in traffic jams or acting as referee between your kids on the next road trip you can use these backseat boredom busters that result in miles of smiles (not to mention peace and quiet for the driver).
Get the Carschooling Ezine and see if these new takes on old-school education don’t convince you to adopt “Auto Academics.”
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Enjoy These Car Games from the Book “Carschooling”
while you wait for your next issue of the “Carschooling Ezine”!
Make a Flat Family! Use varying sizes of paper plates and draw faces and other features on them. Attach paper straws (folded back and forth so they are accordioned) for arms and legs. One carschooler we know plays with them constantly on road trips – and presses them against the car window to say “hello” to people passing by in their cars.
Foreign Languages – Game
Practice Spanish in the car! Pick a category like animals, numbers, colors, etc. Then call out what you see in Spanish. For example, the category is “numbers.” Have the players take turns spotting road signs with numbers on them (like mileage or speed limit signs) and saying the number in Spanish instead of English. Or if the category is “animals” and a player sees a cow – they say “vaca” instead of “cow.” This game is fast-moving, fun, and improves your knowledge of Spanish vocabulary.
Geography – Game
The first player picks the starting geographical site, usually where your trip commences. If you start in Los Angeles, that ends with the letter “S,” so the next player has to think of a geographical location or thing (like a city, country, mountain range or a river) that begins with “S” such as San Francisco. That ends in an “O,” so the third geographical item then must begin with O. The next player might say Oregon Trail. That ends with an “L,” so the next player says something beginning with an “L” — perhaps Lima, etc.
The game ends when you arrive at your destination. Anything geographical is fair game. You just can’t repeat items. Use mountain ranges, cities, landmarks, places (e.g. Arctic Circle, Antarctica,) continents, etc.
Language Arts Activity
Let your kids go fishing in the car! Give them a short dowel with a long string that has a magnet attached to it. Place magnetized letters and words into a shoebox under their feet. Tell them to fish for whatever will stick to the magnet on their dowel. When they catch a letter or word – tell them to read it out loud or use it in a sentence.
Challenge your carschoolers to convert speed limit signs into Roman Numerals. For example, if you spot a 25 MPH speed limit sign, call out the number 25 in Roman Numerals or “XXV.” If you see a 50MPH sign, call out “L.” Here are some of the more common Roman Numerals and their numeric equivalents: 1 = I, 2 = II, 3 = III, 4 = IV, 5 = V, 10 = X, 50 = L, 100 = C, 500 = D, 1000 = M
Extra Credit: You can also convert license plate numerals. Give each player a paper and pencil. Pick out a license plate on a passing car and write down the numerals (ignore the letters). Let’s say the license plate was WR534G. Remove the letters and write down 534. Convert 534 into Roman Numerals or DXXXIV.
P.E. & Health Activity
You can get the exercise you need to help tone the body, strengthen muscles, and improve cardiovascular health by “car dancing.” Simply turn on your favorite music and start by tapping your toes and fingers to the beat of the music. Use the room you have in the car to rotate your ankles and wrists,
bend your knees and elbows, raise your legs and arms up and down – all to the beat of your favorite tunes! Try to car dance for 20 minutes to get the most benefit from the activity.
Comical Car Rules – Lots of families have funny “rules” when riding in the car that are fun to do on long rides or short jaunts. Here are some silly rules of the road carschoolers may follow:
- Lift your feet up as the car goes over a railroad track.
- Hold your breath as the car goes through a tunnel.
- Say “beep-beep” when you go through a toll booth.
- Sing as the car travels over a bridge.
- Clap when you see a fire truck.
Leaf Coloration Game
As you drive along, have one person call out a leaf color that they see on trees – green, orange, yellow, red, purple, and brown or black. The first player to correctly identify the scientific pigment name for that color gets 5 points. The person with the most points in 5 minutes or 5 miles wins. Here are the scientific names for leaf colors:
Green = chlorophyll (klor-o-fil)
Yellow = xanthophyll (zan-tho-fil)
Orange = carotene (kare-o-teen)
Red/Purple = anthocyanin (an-tho-si-ah-nin)
Brown/Black = no pigment
Social Studies Activity
History with Memory Boxes
Create a Memory Box to record a history of your road trip and instill an understanding of “historical artifacts.”
What You Will Need: A shoebox, plain adhesive stickers, pen, and things collected and gathered along the way.
Directions: Give each child a Memory Box (a shoebox) and tell them to collect things to put into their Memory Box that will not only be reminders of their trip, but artifacts that record the history of their trip. At each stop along the way, encourage them to find an item to put into their Memory Boxes like rocks or feathers found on the ground, or a postcard purchased from a souvenir store. Use the stickers and pen to label the items with the date and location they were found. Each Memory Box will be a mishmash of collections that have relevance to each child and will trigger reminiscences of their trip.